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Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion v1.82 BETA Change Log

Opt-in BETA patch now on Steam

By on December 16, 2013 11:33:01 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Yarlen

Join Date 01/2005
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Ironclad Games and Stardock Entertainment are pleased to announce the release of the v1.82 BETA version for Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion. This update is largely designed to address balance issues with the Stellar Phenomena DLC, but also contains several other fixes.

The v1.82 BETA will run through April 2014 as we look at player feedback and make more fixes. Please note that code fixes are not included in this first release - we'll be looking at those in January; so more is on the way!

To update to the v1.82 BETA:

  1. Select Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion from your Steam Library list
  2. Right-click on it and select Properties
  3. Click on the BETAS tab
  4. From the drop-down, select v1.82 Opt-In BETA
  5. Click the Close button

Steam will automatically update you to the current release.  If you want to switch back to the regular version, just repeat the above but select the 'NONE' option instead.

Playing the BETA on ICO:

  • Open an Explorer window to: Documents\My Games\Ironclad Games\Sins of a Solar Empire Rebellion\Setting
  • Open rebellion.user.setting using Notepad or some other basic text editor (do NOT use MS Word)
  • Change IcoServerPort (on line 39) to 8000
  • Save the file

 Version 1.82 Changes (12/16/13)

[ Stellar Phenomena DLC ]

  • Halved asteroidCounts on Graveyard and DenseDebris templates in AsteroidDef to improve performance.
  • Updated GalaxyScenarioDef uncolonizable gravity wells w/resources to be guarded by Pirates, not neutral factions.
  • Removed defenders from Antimatter Fountain.
  • Changed ShatteredMoon defender template from LocalMilitiaWeak to LocalMilitiaWeakUncolonizable.
  • Updated Allegiance progression in Gameplay.Constants on the later stages to drop by .05 on levels 7-8. This should help prevent very distant planets from instantly going neutral from Open Rebellion.
  • Added potential for 0-2 (from 0) neutral crystal extractors at Comets.
  • Increased minimum neutral crystal extractor count to 2 (from 1) at Ice Fields.
  • Increased minimum neutral metal/crystal extractor count to 1 (from 0) at Radiation Storms.
  • Increased minimum neutral metal extractor count to 1 (from 0) at Shattered Moon.
  • Increased random event allegiance check from 240 to 600 seconds. This should help prevent distant colonies from succumbing to Open Rebellion before the player can do anything about it.
  • Reduced minimum allegiance threshold for random events from 30% to 15%.
  • Increased max respawn count on Magnetic Storm from 4 to 9.
  • Increased max respawn count on Plasma Storm from 4 to 9.
  • Reduced trigger weight on Partisans event from 25% to 10%.
  • Reduced trigger weight on Open Rebellion event from 10% to 5%.
  • Reduced fleet point range on Open Rebellion event from 150/350 to 100/250.
  • Increased volume on random event warning sound by 3db.
  • Dramatically shortened Pulsar particle so that it doesn't touch other gravity wells and made the tails less sharp.
  • Removed Fighters from target list on Gas Giant's pre-explode buff since they can never lose it; will still take damage from nearby explosions.
  • Added new Commodity Boom random event: one random planet (including neutrals) may now undergo a resource boom where extractor and refinery rates are increased by 30% for 5 minutes. Should never appear on: Dead Asteroids, Pirate Bases, Antimatter Fountains, Magnetic Clouds or Wormholes. (Thanks to Goafan for the suggestion!)


[ Forbidden Worlds DLC ]

  • Removed 'Ferrus' from PlanetRandomUncolonizable in GalaxyScenarioDefs.
  • Removed 'FerrusFair' from PlanetRandomUncolonizableFair in GalaxyScenarioDefs.
  • Added new planet bonuses to GalaxyScenarioDefs (thanks Goafan!).
  • Changed Rusted Core planet bonus to no longer require points in exploration.

[ AI ]

  • 4/15 - Revised AI bonus income rates to try and scale less drastically past Normal.

[ Misc. ]

  • Updated SDActivate.exe so folks shouldn't need to open up IE if it fails on new installs.
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December 16, 2013 1:15:59 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Why was the resource/income bonus for Hard AI decreased? The Hard AI is fairly well balanced, and after how the Normal AI has been playing pitifully since it's resource/income bonus was removed, I don't see why this is a good idea, let alone the need for such a nerf. I'd argue that the Normal AI needs to have it's old bonuses restored and that the Easy AI needs to have it's resource/income penalty reduced or removed entirely. Other than that, the DLC changes/balance tweaking looks pretty solid, and that's a sweet new event!

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December 16, 2013 1:40:10 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Lavo_2,

Why was the resource/income bonus for Hard AI decreased? The Hard AI is fairly well balanced, and after how the Normal AI has been playing pitifully since it's resource/income bonus was removed, I don't see why this is a good idea, let alone the need for such a nerf. Other than that, the DLC changes/balance tweaking looks pretty solid, and that's a sweet new event!

Well, a lot of newer players were complaining that the difficulty jump from Normal to Hard was too much since normal got revised down. Especially on the steam forums.

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December 16, 2013 2:21:36 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I personally thought that the difficulty jump between hard and unfair was pretty dramatic. From my play experience Hard was fairly a pushover whereas Unfair was incredibly difficult (especially in 1v1) but still possible. With a nerf for Hard this makes that jump particularly larger.

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December 16, 2013 2:42:35 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

And what is the resource bonus now?

I noticed already last weekend the hard AI was somewhat weaker than before - did not have 2x as many ships than me in the beginning of the game, which used to be pretty much a norm and fairly challenging...and this continued further into the match, i literally swept through his planets and he had almost nothing there.

So i checked the numbers at the end of the game and its bonus from planets seemed to be 175 percent (to my base 100) - IIRC it used to be 225 percent. So this was lowered even further now?  

TBF i wanted myself the bonus to be lowered, because it was on occassion bit too much. But based off the last 2 games i played recently, things went bit extreme the other way now, it felt way too easy. Perhaps it was just a coincidence....or maybe i am finally getting good

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December 16, 2013 3:44:58 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Essentially, Normal is baseline, Hard is 50% more than Normal, Unfair is 50% more than Hard, etc. IIRC.

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December 16, 2013 4:09:40 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

yarlen, does this patch get the blair map issue fixes?

harpo

 

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December 16, 2013 6:24:25 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

The jump between hard and normal may or may not be too severe (before 1.82), honestly I have no clue...

What I do know is that the jump between hard and unfair is really bad, and by nerfing hard, that jump is going to be outrageous...if hard needs to be nerfed then so be it, but then unfair also needs to be nerfed...

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December 17, 2013 2:25:55 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting GoaFan77,
Well, a lot of newer players were complaining that the difficulty jump from Normal to Hard was too much since normal got revised down. Especially on the steam forums.

While I can see that, I think the solution is buffing Normal and Easy rather than nerfing Hard. Plus, as Seleuceia mentioned, will we be back for this discussion later when people say the jump from Hard to Unfair is now too big?

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December 17, 2013 6:27:24 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Seleuceia,

The jump between hard and normal may or may not be too severe (before 1.82), honestly I have no clue...

What I do know is that the jump between hard and unfair is really bad, and by nerfing hard, that jump is going to be outrageous...if hard needs to be nerfed then so be it, but then unfair also needs to be nerfed...

As per Yarlens post above, i understand it all the difficulties were toned down. I mean, the Hard used to get 225 percent bonus, the Unfair 350 percemt. Cruel or whatever is next 475 percent, Vicious i assume 600... if i understand it correctly, now its 150 percent for Hard, 200 percent for Unfair, 250 Cruel, etc...

Correct me if i am wrong. 

Personally, i think its sort of OK this way, as long it does not affect the AIs capability to actively rebuild its fleets, research new techs, construct titans etc... From my personal experience 225 percent advantage was good enough for lategame Hard AI to literally rebuild  what felt like entire fleet-supply over and over and throw it at me in 10/15 minute long intervals. Challenging AI is indeed OK, but if it has too much advantage, killing it takes either way too long and becomes repetitive and boring, or you have to rely on its inability to counter certain things, thus basically playing "dirty".

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December 17, 2013 6:52:57 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I took Yarlen's statement as a description of the current situation...the change log only mentions nerfing hard, not all of the difficulties...

If, as you say, all the difficulties are being nerfed then this is probably one of the best changes for SP in recent memory...but I definitely did not get that impression from the change log or Yarlen's statement...hopefully he will clarify...

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December 17, 2013 10:47:27 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting harpo99999,

yarlen, does this patch get the blair map issue fixes?

harpo

 

No, not at present.

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December 17, 2013 10:48:57 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Seleuceia,

I took Yarlen's statement as a description of the current situation...the change log only mentions nerfing hard, not all of the difficulties...

If, as you say, all the difficulties are being nerfed then this is probably one of the best changes for SP in recent memory...but I definitely did not get that impression from the change log or Yarlen's statement...hopefully he will clarify...

Basically it wasn't normalized before. Now it is. Considering the number of folks who are able to routinely beat the toughest AI in under an hour, it's fine.

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December 17, 2013 2:02:54 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Yarlen,
No, not at present.

Is there any new estimate on when these changes will be implemented, as they were supposedly going into this update?

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December 17, 2013 6:21:25 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Yarlen,
Basically it wasn't normalized before. Now it is. Considering the number of folks who are able to routinely beat the toughest AI in under an hour, it's fine.

I wasn't aware your mainstream SP audience was routinely winning on vicious -- and with ease, so perhaps my suggestion is a little too narrow and niche...

Nevertheless, I'm not concerned with vicious, I'm concerned about the jump between hard and unfair...when you say it is "normalized", all I'm getting from that is that hard has been changed to fit some nice number scheme, but that unfair is basically the same as it used to be...since this patch will nerf hard, that will exacerbate the jump between hard and unfair, which I would think is a serious problem...that already enough people were upset about the jump from normal to hard is testament to the importance of smaller jumps between difficulty...

If too many people are beating vicious easily and on a regular basis, it seems the solution is to add an extra difficulty level and lessen the gaps between them, not to increase the gaps....

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December 17, 2013 8:37:11 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Seleuceia,


Quoting Yarlen, reply 12Basically it wasn't normalized before. Now it is. Considering the number of folks who are able to routinely beat the toughest AI in under an hour, it's fine.

I wasn't aware your mainstream SP audience was routinely winning on vicious -- and with ease, so perhaps my suggestion is a little too narrow and niche...

Nevertheless, I'm not concerned with vicious, I'm concerned about the jump between hard and unfair...when you say it is "normalized", all I'm getting from that is that hard has been changed to fit some nice number scheme, but that unfair is basically the same as it used to be...since this patch will nerf hard, that will exacerbate the jump between hard and unfair, which I would think is a serious problem...that already enough people were upset about the jump from normal to hard is testament to the importance of smaller jumps between difficulty...

If too many people are beating vicious easily and on a regular basis, it seems the solution is to add an extra difficulty level and lessen the gaps between them, not to increase the gaps....

 

Is this a 1v1 rush issue or 7 players against 1 AI, because when I play 2 players vs 6 AIs on unfair or above the AI gives a very good fight.  Are they using cheat codes to advance quicker to victory or little itty bitty maps?

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December 17, 2013 9:27:45 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Where's the option to disable AI surrender?  Blair Fraser mentioned adding it in the next patch, does this mean it's not forthcoming?

 

http://forums.sinsofasolarempire.com/448797/page/1/#3415301

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December 17, 2013 10:29:08 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting mikefacciola,
Is this a 1v1 rush issue or 7 players against 1 AI, because when I play 2 players vs 6 AIs on unfair or above the AI gives a very good fight. Are they using cheat codes to advance quicker to victory or little itty bitty maps?

The issue is not that unfair is too difficult...the issue is that for a developing player, the jump between hard and unfair is too large...map size and number of humans vs. AIs is largely irrelevant to this issue....

The whole logic behind nerfing the hard AI is so that the gap between normal and hard is not so big...this was specifically done for SP guys who are not pros at this game or for people new to Sins...it only makes sense that the same thing would be done for going from hard to unfair, since those are difficulty levels appealing to essentially the same crowd...

If the jump between unfair and cruel becomes an issue, then add a difficulty level in between unfair and cruel...

 

 

 

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December 17, 2013 10:47:22 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I suppose I am looking to see why it stated that there is a large base of people who finish a game within one hour.  Know I have kids and I have to pause oh, every five minutes however, I think I haven't ever finished a game in under an hour.  Although I take planets for myself and build up.  The AI still places a very good fight if over 2 AIs on unfair or above.  I am trying to see who can beat 2+ AIs on vicious without cheating under an hour with more than 25 planets. 

Quoting Yarlen,


Quoting Seleuceia, reply 10
I took Yarlen's statement as a description of the current situation...the change log only mentions nerfing hard, not all of the difficulties...

If, as you say, all the difficulties are being nerfed then this is probably one of the best changes for SP in recent memory...but I definitely did not get that impression from the change log or Yarlen's statement...hopefully he will clarify...

Basically it wasn't normalized before. Now it is. Considering the number of folks who are able to routinely beat the toughest AI in under an hour, it's fine.

 

As this quote says the toughest AI assuming its 6 player 1 human 5 AIs 2v2v2 all on cruel or vicious or the toughest whatever we want to call it.  Who beats it under an hour?  Without cheating, money on normal income.

 

In fact using a cheat trainer from cheathappens and having unlimited credits crystal and metal, the AI seems to have a full force ready to throw at me by the time I unlock a titan which is typically fast since I use the money cheat.

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December 18, 2013 11:28:56 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Completely agree with all what Seleuceia says. It's very illogical to touch only HARD or only NORMAL as you did before. And now we will wait the next patch, devs to realize that UNFAIR is also too far from HARD. Isn't it comically, folks? 

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December 18, 2013 12:00:23 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I hope that Unfair is left untouched... It's at a really good level as it is, nerfing it would be tragic.

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December 18, 2013 12:10:55 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Yarlen,

Essentially, Normal is baseline, Hard is 50% more than Normal, Unfair is 50% more than Hard, etc. IIRC.

How about you add those parameters in the gameplay.constants file?  That'll make many of us happy.

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December 18, 2013 12:28:43 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Seleuceia,


Quoting mikefacciola, reply 15Is this a 1v1 rush issue or 7 players against 1 AI, because when I play 2 players vs 6 AIs on unfair or above the AI gives a very good fight. Are they using cheat codes to advance quicker to victory or little itty bitty maps?

The issue is not that unfair is too difficult...the issue is that for a developing player, the jump between hard and unfair is too large...map size and number of humans vs. AIs is largely irrelevant to this issue....

The whole logic behind nerfing the hard AI is so that the gap between normal and hard is not so big...this was specifically done for SP guys who are not pros at this game or for people new to Sins...it only makes sense that the same thing would be done for going from hard to unfair, since those are difficulty levels appealing to essentially the same crowd...

If the jump between unfair and cruel becomes an issue, then add a difficulty level in between unfair and cruel...

 

 

 

 

I am not disagreeing with you here and i certainly dont want to pre-conclude things without trying it myself, but i would argue that once you get good enough to beat several Hard AIs at once, the size of the bonus for Unfair and higher difficulties is not that important, since its an incredible overkill anyway.

I mean, i usually play against Hard AIs, at least it was my difficulty up until now (even with their 2,25x planet income advantage). I beat bunch of them several times in the past, but even now it happens to me on occassion that they overwhelm me at the beginning, if 2 or more attack me at the same time.

My point is, by now, being capable of beating Hard AIs, i have nothing new to learn about the game. If i lose the game now, its not cause i did not know something about the gameplay mechanics or did some beginners error, it is because i am failing with the real-time aspect of the game. I simply dont click fast enough, dwindle over decisions, what to do next (whether to build another ship or risk it and invest into another important research)...and this costs me valuable seconds, during which the AI is amassing fleets thanks to its income bonus. The solution here is not to play differently, but to play faster, and it does not matter that much, whether the AI has 3x,4x or 6x more resources. I mean, the only way to play the game "fast" is to play it over and over and over and get that sort of twitch, where you dont even think what are you doing anyway, cause you did it so many times, its given.

I dont wish to generalize here too much, and say, what is true for me has to be true for anyone else, so take this with a grain of salt. 

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December 18, 2013 12:57:36 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I agree with Timmaigh, once you get multiple Hard AIs down it's just a matter of speed as the AI doesn't get any smarter, it just gets more money to outspend you.

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December 18, 2013 2:41:48 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

When are AI players going to start building starbases in the solar gravity wells?  Its kind of easy to beat when you can throw 4-5 of them into an enemy sun and bottle them up.  It would make Vicious or Cruel more challenging at the least.

Thanks,

-Jason

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December 18, 2013 3:47:49 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

If a SP player has matured to the point where they can routinely beat hard AIs, then it is only natural the next difficulty they would want to play on is unfair...

The problem with unfair is that it radically changes what the player must do in order to win...the resource cheat the AI gets at that level reaches a new threshold where the human player must either be pro (which normally only applies to MP) or must adapt "anti-AI" strategies that would normally fair poorly against a human player...in other words, once you step up to unfair, it isn't just a harder game, it's a different game...

The ideal difficulty level is one that mimics the capabilities of a human player...obviously we can't expect the AI to be smart enough to do this, so we use resource bonuses to level the playing field...hard is not quite good enough as a moderately skilled player can easily out match it...unfair is too good because its resource cheat results in an "unnatural" enemy...the ideal difficulty level for a moderately skilled player (ie a veteran SP player or casual MP) lies somewhere between hard and unfair....

I understand if new players are struggling jumping from normal to hard, and thus I am not against nerfing hard in and of itself...however, hard is currently the closest difficulty to the "ideal level" before one gets into resource cheats that radically alter the AI's gameplay....by nerfing hard, you further remove that difficulty from the "ideal level", a change that will severely hurt the replayability of this game for veteran SP players...

There needs to be a difficulty level somewhere between the current hard and current unfair...if one becomes afraid that a jump between two of the higher difficulties (unfair --> cruel or cruel --> vicious) will become too big, then the best solution is to introduce a new difficulty level that narrows the gaps between difficulties while still maintaining the challenge of the highest difficulty (currently vicious)...

 

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